Viewpoints on Innovation

Innovation Fallacy #6 - Process Inhibits Creativity

Analytics and Decision Support Governance Process Improvement Chief Innovation Officer

This fallacy follows the “structure slows innovation” logic. How can I be asked to innovate when you force me to follow a defined process? My creativity is constrained by your deliverables and deadlines. Oh, the humanity!

I have seen a number of overly bureaucratic processes that do consume unnecessary amounts of time and attention. It is a problem when process requirements are burdensome to the individuals you are counting on, but there is a balance between unfettered time to be creative and channeling those energies into the work that is most important for the company.

Determining what is most important requires some level of process discipline. Project selection and investment allocation methods should be rigorous and require solid analysis. There is nothing in these processes that limits the creativity that goes into the product concept. Gated development processes that apply an appropriate level of scrutiny to these initiatives as they make their way toward launch are necessary to ensure that the initial investment hypothesis remains valid.

Good process discipline does not inhibit creativity. In fact, it can free up tremendous amounts of time that is currently wasted for more creative endeavors. A good innovation process will save more unnecessary work than it creates. Creativity and discipline are not enemies.

More Reading

Innovation Fallacy #1 - Risk Drives Reward

Innovation Fallacy #2 - Spending Drives Output

Innovation Fallacy #3 - Failure is Spectacular

Innovation Fallacy #4 - Innovation Cannot be Scheduled

Innovation Fallacy #5 - Structure Slows Innovation

Innovation Fallacy #6 - Process Inhibits Creativity

Innovation Fallacy #7 - Success Is Getting To Launch

Innovation Fallacy #8 - Disruption Happens Fast

Innovation Fallacy #9 - We’re The Apple Of…

Innovation Fallacy #10 - The U.S. Is Losing

Originally published at

Originally published on October 3rd, 2014

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Topics: Bill Poston, Chief Innovation Officer, Creativity, Innovation, Investment Allocation, Process Discipline, Process Improvement

About the Author

Bill Poston

Bill Poston

For the past 30 years, Bill has helped executives in technology-driven industries transform their competencies to deliver results. He is a highly regarded consultant, speaker, and writer on the topics of innovation strategy, product development, portfolio management, technology commercialization, and the software systems that enable innovation. Keep up with Bill's latest research and thoughts on innovation and the rising role of the Chief Innovation Officer at
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